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Bruins end skid with win against Avalanche

by Rick Sadowski

DENVER -- Playing their first road game of the season, the Boston Bruins defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 at Pepsi Center on Wednesday for their first win in four games.

The Bruins, who were outscored 16-7 in three games at TD Garden, played tight defensively in front of goalie Jonas Gustavsson and shut down the Avalanche's high-powered offense that produced 10 goals in their first two games.

Jimmy Hayes had a goal and three assists, Ryan Spooner had a goal and an assist, and Zdeno Chara had two assists. The Bruins also got goals from Tyler Randell in his first NHL game, defenseman Kevan Miller and forward Chris Kelly.

David Krejci scored into an empty net with 1:29 left. He has three goals and three assists in a four-game scoring streak.

"The focus and determination of our group was really good tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We realized we were giving up too many goals and we had to respect the part of the game without the puck. Part of it was having layers and not having that many breakdowns.

"We talked about managing the puck and making better decisions with it so you don't allow the other team to get those opportunities. We did a better job of that overall. We seem to have good starts in every game so far this year and that couldn't change, but we had to extend the 20-minute game to a 60-minute game."

Boston limited the Avalanche (1-2-0) to 11 shots in the first two periods and 22 for the game while using a balanced attack to chase Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov in the second period.

"I'm not happy, I'm not happy at all," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "We didn't compete like we should. We turned the puck over on the last four goals, we made poor decisions in the neutral zone. It can't happen.

"I understand if we don't have our 'A' game. That doesn't mean to be 5-0 in the hole before we start playing. We need to keep things simple and wait for a good opportunity to score a goal. That's the thing we need to learn."

Miller and Hayes scored 2:22 apart in the first period to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.

Miller scored at 5:49 with a shot from the top of the right circle with help from Krejci, who skated through the goalmouth to screen Varlamov. Hayes knocked the rebound of Chara's shot behind Varlamov at 8:11.

"It was a good one for me to get out of the way," Hayes said. "It felt like it was forever to score a goal. The first one always seems like the toughest one. It's nice to contribute. We talked about it amongst ourselves and we found a way to contribute. Tonight we were executing, played a simple game and we were communicating."

Gustavsson, who started for the first time this season, made a pad save against Avalanche rookie Mikko Rantanen at 12:00 of the first on a clean breakaway.

The Bruins broke the game open in the second period with three goals on 11 shots.

Randell, a fifth-year pro who has played for Providence of the American Hockey League and South Carolina of the ECHL, put the Bruins ahead 3-0 at 3:46. He was in front of the net with teammate Joonas Kemppainen and Avalanche defenseman Brad Stuart when he tipped Adam McQuaid's shot between Varlamov's pads.

"It's definitely what you dream from day one, when you're three years old playing mini-six, firing the ball around and pretending you’re in the NHL," Randell said. "The chance finally came. I never expected this to happen in the first game, but pretty exciting. Nerves were a little high but it was great to get that one out of the way."

Kelly scored at 9:30 after Hayes intercepted a clearing attempt. He passed to Spooner, who found Kelly heading to the net for a shot past Varlamov.

Roy replaced Varlamov with Reto Berra at 15:32 after Spooner scored for a 5-0 lead. Varlamov faced 19 shots.

"Varly does not have the start I'm sure he wants, but at the same time you look at the goals he gave up in the second, no help," Roy said.

Colorado broke through at 18:31 on a power-play goal by Gabriel Landeskog, with David Pastrnak serving a double-minor for high-sticking Carl Soderberg. Nathan MacKinnon passed to Landeskog in front and he used a spinning move to slide the puck into the net. Landeskog has four goals and three assists in a three-game scoring streak.

John Mitchell, who has a goal in each of the Avalanche's three games, scored from the left circle at 11:20 of the third period.

Colorado visits the winless Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

"You can't play like this," Roy said. "If we want to make the playoffs this is not the type of performance we need. We need more consistency from our guys and we definitely need to be better in our own end. We were awful tonight, that's all."

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